Sunday, 31 August 2014

Some Makings

My granny square blanket is growing slowly, it's at a stage where I barely see any progress because it's already so big, but it still has a long way to go! I am hoping to keep going until it is the size of a double bed, so there will be extra cosyness as the winter approaches, and I have decided that the combination of losing stamina and running out of the right colour and shades of yarn will not defeat me!
As usual, the plan is to run down my yarn stash (it's getting somewhat out of hand) but my blanket plan left me with a quandary over lengths that are too short for a round but still have usefulness. I've gathered together all of the odds-and-ends, and I'm making pompoms and mini granny squares. This however may end up becoming a project...
Last week I finished Groot. He's utterly splendid, and has a very fancy pot and bit of grass to sit in. He has his own shelf and seems to be settling in quite nicely.
Thanks to Twinkie Chan for the "Grootorial", it was really fun and easy to follow!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Week...

Well, as last weeks of summer go, it's been a rather splendid one. It started with a bit of chilly weather on Saturday, which of course meant that I had to bundle up in my work-in-progress blanket as I added more rows to make it extra cosy. Sunday was a delightful day, catching up with a dear old friend and making friends with his lovely lady-friend. There was tea, and cake, yarn shopping and much chatting. Monday was spent in typical rainy day style, with lots of crafty makings, films, tea and time with my other half and our kitty family. 
On Tuesday I took an opportunity to visit Peterborough, and enjoyed having a mooch around the very pretty museum, housed in a Victorian Hospital, and full of interesting bits and bobs, including Butterfly specimens and treasured letters and handmade things from World War One. Wednesday was another cosy day, and I spent the evening in the close company of our oldest kitty. On Thursday we ventured to Shrewsbury for shopping and spent the afternoon watching "Lucy", before I finally gave in and took some rest to clear a particularly unpleasant headache. I spent Friday sewing pretty things for my shop, very quietly as part of headache recovery, but today I have Allo Darlin' for company as I work, choosing their first album as the soundtrack to my morning. Splendid. 

Friday, 29 August 2014

A Little Bit of Shopping...

I must confess that I love to shop. I know it's a stereotypical "girl thing", but I just can't help it. My favourite places to shop are little quaint independent shops, charity shops, markets and antique centres. So I took an opportunity to have a mooch around the sweet little local towns of Shrewsbury yesterday, which is just full of lovely shops and quirky little nooks. 
 I had a small but quite exciting haul - a hardback copy of the "Tamara Drewe" graphic novel, an adorable ceramic bird and some brightly coloured plastic bead necklaces (to be split for bracelets!) all from the charity shops, and a very sweet 1940's brooch from the antiques centre, which apparently is a "Sweetheart" brooch, with dried flowers. I've tried doing a little bit of research online but haven't found anything out yet, but I love it and all of it's pretty pink and floral goodness.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

My Week..

It's been a very busy week, and between our trip to London and a lovely family wedding yesterday, I've barely had time to take a breath!
As so often happens, my work and personal life overlapped - my cousin, the bride, commissioned thirty-five of my vintage embroidered fabric birds as wedding favours for her guests, so I've been quietly working away on them since January, and had the last one finished in June. It was just splendid to be part of her special day!
So here they are, on the tables in pride of place, and I thought I would share my favourite of the photographs that I took -  a slightly blurry moment between the bride and her brother. Just lovely.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Louise Bourgeois

During my visit to Tate Modern on Monday, I popped into the Louise Bourgeois "Works on Paper" galleries. I was lucky enough to see the Retrospective of her work in 2007/2008 at Tate Modern, and was of course struck by the scale of her work, but also the sheer volume of notes, sketches and small pieces that she had made. I am fairly obsessive in my note making, and try to keep a sketchbook continuously, so I always find it interesting to see the processes and 'behind the scenes' work. 
These were some of my favourite pieces in the "Works on Paper" exhibition - 
"Scissors" 1994
One of the "Ode a Ma Mere" collection 1995
"My Inner Life" 2008
Close up section of "Look Up" 2009
"What is the Shape of this Problem?" 1999
"Ode a la Bievre" 2007
"Spiral Woman" 1999
"Be Calm" 2005
"Hours of the Day" 2006

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Off on an Adventure

London is one of my most favourite places to visit, and I'm lucky to spend so much time there. Our little adventure started on Saturday, here are some of my favourite moments...
Sunday at Tate Modern for Matisse and Malevich, followed by a visit to the Twinings shop and museum.
Monday at the London aquarium followed by the V&A Disobedient Objects exhibition, particularly liked the Guerilla Girls section, and the "Nike Blanket" petition. We had a mooch around Covent Garden too, it's a lovely place.
I love the aquarium, it's a curious and interesting environment, so different to the every day experience. 
And on Tuesday we had a second visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, and it is absolute happiness. 

It's back to normal today, in my stall chatting to lovely customers, and working on pompoms for Big Knit hats!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

My Week...

It's been a funny week, busy with lots of boring everyday things like haircuts and various appointments, but these are some of the little highlights...
Sunday - hanging out at home with the cats, where Norman made the most of his access to my crocheted rug
Thursday - Blueberry and Coconut cake at one of my favourite tea shops 
Friday - the start of Groot, from the pattern by Twinkie Chan, after a day of hat knitting for Innocent Smoothie's Big Knit Campaign 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Cosy Crochet

Lately my making seems to depend on the weather - every time it starts to rain I just want to spend the day cosy and crocheting. 

I started this blanket on Sunday, during a day of rain and howling winds and as the days are starting to get shorter it's the perfect project to work on in the evenings. It's big enough to wrap around me as I go along now!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Shopping and Makings...

I had a lovely little mooch around the charity and crafty shops in Chester on Tuesday and came home with quite the little haul of goodies...
Cotton for crochet flowers, a see-through flower bag, some children's clothes to re-purpose, a Cath Kidston Cowboy cup and a sweet Budgie ornament.
I spent this morning sewing - making an age 14-15 dress into a cute skirt, and a little girls shirt into a tote bag. So now I will be on the lookout for more dresses to up-cycle, since it was such a bargain at £1.50 and so easy to alter - all it needed was a waistband and a zip! 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

My Week...

Another week has passed, can't believe how time flies!
Tuesday - tea and cupcakes in The Vintage Rose Tearoom, Llangollen, and my "new-to-me" tea, coffee and sugar canisters, featuring peppers...
Wednesday - Meeting a new friend on our Anniversary evening stroll in the park in Chester
Thursday - Afternoon tea in Ellesmere followed by a trip to the movies to see "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Friday - My first Asian wedding, so very beautiful! 
Saturday - Honey and her lady-like paws, and my newly balled-up skeins of sock yarn - can't wait to start knitting!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A Visit to Ruthin

I love to visit quaint little towns, and one of my favourites is Ruthin in North Wales. It's an old town, with a castle and a gaol, and lots of lovely shops, but my first stop is always the Craft Centre. It's an Applied Arts gallery, full of beautiful objects and exhibitions from a variety of disciplines, and is always very inspiring.
The special exhibition was "As William Morris Said..." inspired by the quote -

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." William Morris

I particularly liked the ceramics by Derek Wilson, in tones of grey and white, with some lovely yellows. I think personally I am drawn more to colours and patterns than the more utilitarian, minimalistic work in this exhibition, but it was interesting nonetheless. 
As well as the main exhibition, there is a Willow installation that fills the entire of Gallery 2, called "Inundation". It really is amazing, such a massive expanse and filling so much space, but still so open and airy.

The town itself is lovely too, and I always enjoy pottering around the charity shops, antique centre and the yarn shop, where I gave into temptation and bought three skeins of beautiful sock yarn. And of course there was cake, because it seemed rude not to...

Monday, 4 August 2014

A Cosy New Blanket

I found myself getting a little carried away with crocheting granny squares this weekend - I made thirty-six in two days so I thought I would spend a day joining, weaving in pesky ends and edging before I accidentally made more...
The finished blanket has found a home on my sofa - the cats thoroughly approve of it and it fits in nicely with my other makes and vintage cushions. My next job will be to finish some socks, I have had two pairs in the making for quite a while now!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Plans for Rainy Days

I can't say I'm a fan of rainy weather, but I like to make the most of it with a spot of crochet in the evenings - I'm working on granny squares at the moment. 
I haven't decided what they will become just yet, I'm just crocheting for the sake of crochet, and rather enjoying it.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

My Week...

After the many adventures of last week, I have enjoyed a quiet week at home.
Sunday - spotting butterflies on our beautiful white Buddleia
Monday - A working day in a local cafe with friends, with plenty of crochet and tea
Thursday - picking our very own orange roses, after a morning of gardening
Friday - the weather has turned and Norman has gone back to his winter sleepy spot, a cosy blanket lined basket.